ISA NEWS RELEASE
Contact: Jennifer Infantino
ISA EXPO 2008 Attracts Thousands, Features 70 Technical Conference Sessions
Houston, Texas (4 November 2008) – ISA EXPO 2008, held 14-16 October 2008 at the Reliant Center in Houston, Texas, attracted 11,000 attendees and showcased 500 exhibitors. The 70 conference program sessions, 17 training courses, dozens of special events, and more than 100 presentations on the exhibit floor were focused around six technology exchanges, with dozens of industry experts on hand to lead discussions, present papers, and answer questions about the hottest topics in each area. ISA EXPO technology exchanges covered security, process automation, safety, environmental and quality control, enterprise integration, and wireless and networking.
Attendees flock to ISA EXPO to learn about several different topics based on their career stages and project interests. “I’m most interested in control processing and asset management,” said Peter Normand, an attendee from Arcelormittal, Port-Cartier, Quebec, Canada. “Arcelormittal is a mining company, and we have a lot of assets and process control.”
Many users are very interested in wireless technology. “My main interest at ISA EXPO is wireless technology,” commented Paula Lucchini of Chevron, based in Richmond, California. “I’m doing a few projects centered on wireless technology with Emerson, Honeywell, and Yokogawa, plus anyone else I might meet at ISA EXPO.”
Another user, traveling all the way from Nigeria, agreed with Lucchini’s interest area. “Remote wireless systems are of interest to us,” said Adedotun Adeyemi of QuadDynamics Ltd in Lagos State, Nigeria. “We’re system integrators, and we’re looking into the area of wireless solutions.”
“It’s important to me to keep up with industry trends and new innovations, and there’s no better place than ISA EXPO to do that. Specifically, I came to look at sensor technology and analytics,” said attendee William “Tim” Shaw, Swantech, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Exhibitors also raved about ISA EXPO 2008. “We had a great ISA EXPO experience. The ICONICS 3D theater was packed with attendees eager to see the first 3D HMI/SCADA solution. We also had the opportunity to talk with several key decision makers at the ICONICS café 64 during EXPO,” said Tim Donaldson, ICONICS Director of Marketing.
“ISA EXPO is a well-managed event with great facilities and a great market,” said Jim Adams, Account Manager with Palmer Wahl. “The leads we’ve gotten have been extremely high in quality, and we’ve already booked space for next year.”
“FIBOX Enclosures has been an exhibitor with ISA EXPO for over 11 years, and we’ll continue to exhibit,” said Diane Souffie of FIBOX. “In fact, we’ve already purchased our space for 2009!”
The exchange concept allows attendees to participate in comprehensive presentations of automation solutions, ideas, and information in the areas that relate most to their unique needs. The keynote addresses held each day of the conference spanned all technology areas and were extremely popular. Tuesday’s keynote, which attracted a standing room-only crowd, featured Smart Dust inventor Dr. Kris Pister, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at UC Berkeley. Dr. Pister, whose keynote was titled “From Smart Dust to Smart Plants – The Evolution of Wireless Sensor Networking,” is the Co-Director of the Berkeley Sensor & Actuator Center, and Co-founder and CTO of Dust Networks.
Wednesday’s keynote address was given by cold fusion expert Dr. David J. Nagel of George Washington University and drew a large crowd. Dr. Nagel’s presentation, entitled “Instrumentation for Low Energy Nuclear Reactions,” inspired much discussion and dialogue surrounding the importance of cold fusion technology and application. Thursday morning, Houstonian Dr. John Lienhard of the University of Houston presented “Feedback Control: How We Learned to Think Negatively in 300 BC.” Dr. Lienhard’s radio show, The Engines of Our Ingenuity, airs five days a week on NPR on more than 45 stations across the country. Dr. Lienhard uses the record of history to reveal the way art, technology, and ideas have shaped us, and to show how our culture is formed by human creativity.
ISA EXPO 2008 was held in conjunction with Automation Career Week, a celebration of the automation profession for all ages. Automation Career Week included special events for current professionals, the International Student Games for college students around the world, YAPFEST on 15 October for automation professionals and students under 30, and iAU2M8.08, a unique event for middle and high school students. More than 400 students learned about automation careers through a tour of exhibits and the ISA EXPO show floor, and a dynamic keynote speaker, John Hanks from National Instruments, who discussed automation careers and possibilities. Hanks is the Vice President of Industrial and Embedded Products at National Instruments, and leads NI’s future software and hardware product strategy and marketing. National Instruments’ team of more than 2000 engineers create products to help scientists and engineers around the world invent new products and processes, from mind-controlled wheelchairs to new windmill monitoring and control systems.
Several interactive demonstrations and events for attendees were also highlighted at ISA EXPO 2008. WINA held a wireless walking tour entitled "No Wires, No Hype" to educate attendees about the wide range of wireless products and concepts displayed at the event. The exhibit also featured the ISA EXPO Bus Station, a collaborative endeavor to deliver the latest information on industrial bus and field communications. Presentations and product offerings for various networking and communication protocols were discussed by exhibiting companies in the Bus Station, including Autrol, America Inc., Detcon, Inc., FDT Group AISBL, HART Communication Foundation, HMS Industrial Networks Inc., Invensys/Foxboro, ISA103, ISA104, Kepware Technologies, Modbus-IDA, ProComSol Ltd., Profichip GmbH, TURCK, Inc., Westlock Controls Corp., and Yokogawa Corporation of America.
Additional special events included a fundraising effort for the American Red Cross’ Hurricane Relief Fund. The ISA Hurricane Relief Silent Auction, held on Tuesday during the Industry Networking Reception, raised $2,500. A $1,000 donation on-site from Otis Instruments added to the total, along with donations collected at the entrances to the exhibit hall. ISA matched all donations from its own budget. The grand total raised, $8,200.00, was presented to the American Red Cross in a press conference after Thursday’s keynote address.
“The American Red Cross depends on support like yours to keep our work going, and there’s a lot of work still to be done,” said Cindy Atmar, Director of Planned Giving for the American Red Cross Greater Houston Chapter, during the check presentation. “We still have about 500 people in shelters each night as the area recovers from Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. This money will directly benefit those people and help us serve their needs.”
Hurricane Ike, which struck the Gulf Coast just weeks prior to ISA EXPO, caused extensive damage for many regular ISA EXPO attendees and exhibitors, as well as hotels and restaurants throughout the area. “The hurricanes were a huge hurdle for our customers, Members, and exhibitors in the weeks leading up to ISA EXPO,” said ISA Director of Convention Services Dale Lee. “The dedicated efforts and teamwork from our exhibitors, the city of Houston, and the industry professionals who support ISA EXPO made ISA EXPO 2008 possible despite the devastation caused by the storms.”
As part of several celebratory events recognizing the 40th anniversary of the PLC, Schneider hosted a panel session on 16 October that discussed “Trails and Trends in Programmable Controls.” PLC inventor Dick Morley, along with leading industry experts, discussed advances in digital technology along with quantity/quality upgrade pressures in discrete parts manufacturing contributed to a meteoric growth of the PLC industry. The panel explored PLC relationships and synergies with other automation technologies such as motor drives & motion control, CNC, robotics, automatic ID, and wireless.
ISA EXPO attracts attendees from more than 70 countries, including Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom. For more information about ISA EXPO 2008, or to stay up to date on the planning for ISA EXPO 2009, 6-8 October 2009, visit www.isa.org.
Founded in 1945, ISA (www.isa.org) is a leading, global, nonprofit organization that is setting the standard for automation by helping over 30,000 worldwide members and other professionals solve difficult technical problems, while enhancing their leadership and personal career capabilities. Based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, ISA develops standards; certifies industry professionals; provides education and training; publishes books and technical articles; and hosts the largest conference and exhibition for automation professionals in the Western Hemisphere. ISA is the founding sponsor of The Automation Federation (www.automationfederation.org).